The Caps confuse Ray Whitney
Watching low-scoring Caps games on TV and following along online as Caps fans bang their heads into their keyboards is getting pretty depressing. Also, repetitive. The stats people cite alone could fill up a blog item. Some samples from Monday night.
Ted Starkey: Offense has produced three goals in three games, one of which came off a Coyotes player.
Sky Kerstein: Caps 10 shots on the PP...0 goal. Coyotes 1 shot on the PP, 1 goal.
Neil Greenberg: Down 1, I'd expect Caps to have more than 0 scoring chances in last 11 minutes.
Mike Vogel: Look, here it is in a nutshell. Caps led league in goals scored and PP last year. By a lot. This year, they're around 20th in both. Caps on pace to allow 198 goals, fewest since they allowed 194 in 1999-00. It's not goaltending. Not defense.
In case you need help figuring out the rest, here's a quick diagnosis: it's the offense. It's not really like it used to be. In the sense that the Caps don't score any more. Which is why Coyotes winger Ray Whitney turned his second-period Versus intermission into a little speech about that offense.
"Are you surprised how tight Washington's playing?" Whitney was asked.
"Well, after playing against them the last five years in Carolina, eight [or] six times a year, this is a totally different team," he said. "They still have the same skill level, but you can tell that they've made a conscious effort to play smarter defensively. And [that's] not really what I was expecting out of them, but they're certainly doing a good job of it....
"This is kind of our style of play. and we're kind of comfortable with it. To see them doing that is surprising, but I think also they're on to something. I think that's what's gonna, as a group, maybe take them up to that next level."
So I guess that's an endorsement of sort, although it should be mentioned that Whitney's team actually won the game.
After that interview, Versus studio analyst Keith Jones offered a somewhat different take.
"I don't like watching the Capitals play this year," he said. "I'm sorry. I liked watching them when they were wide open. They were fun to watch. I don't enjoy them."
"Good playoff hockey," Brian Engblom interjected, and I guess that's the question.
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